What are the Office Hours for Cole Miller PLLC?

Cole Miller PLLC is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. In the event you call us during the lunch hour from 12:30pm to 1:30pm you may get the office voice mail system, and you may leave a message which we will promptly return. Each of the attorneys has voice mail as well. Each attorney also uses email, so the attorneys are readily accessible to their clients at all times. If you are not yet a client of Cole Miller PLLC, you can email us at contact@colemillerlaw.com to schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys.

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?

In Virginia, in most cases you have to be separated for one year before you can be divorced. If you have no minor children and have settled all your issues with a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, you need only be separated for 6 months. An uncontested case, where the requisite separation period is met, can usually be processed in less than two months, but depends partly on how quickly the Court is processing cases at the time. Contested cases range from a few months to a year or more, once the separation period is met.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

Cole Miller Attorneys can discuss the cost of your case in more detail with you when you come in for a consultation. There is a vast range in how much divorce cases costs based on how much is at stake, whether there are issues that require litigation to resolve, and how much the other party is prepared to spend- among many others. There are also options to keep costs down, such as participating in mediation. Most, if not all, divorce attorneys in Virginia will have an Attorney-Client Contract for services they will want you to sign when you hire them that provides for an advance of fees to paid, often referred to as a “retainer” amount. Family law attorneys are typically paid based on their hourly rates for the time they spend working on your case, with their fees taken from the advance you provide. Cole Miller PLLC attorneys would discuss this contract and advance amount with you at your initial consultation. Contact us for a Consultation if you have more questions about our current hourly rates or how much your particular case might cost. Our hourly rates are commensurate with our years of experience and rates in the Northern Virginia area.

Should I See a Therapist?

Divorce and other family law matters are some of the hardest times you will undoubtedly ever have. While your attorney is there to provide you with legal counsel, most are not trained in mental health counseling. It is also much more cost effective to share your emotional issues with a mental health professional and let your attorney focus on the problems they can solve for you. Counseling can be a true benefit to you in trying to manage your emotions while you go through the divorce process. See our Additional Resources or Contact Us if you need a referral to a counselor.

How Can I Assist My Attorney?

Be Organized and Stay Informed
Collect the documents your attorney requests from you and bring them to your attorney in an organized manner. As you think of questions, write them down and, absent an emergency, save them for your next meeting with your attorney, so that you can make the most of your time with your attorney and have more productive meetings about your case. Save the case documents your attorney sends you in an electronic folder on your computer or in a binder, so that you can be as involved as possible in your case. No one knows the facts and circumstances of your case better than you do. If you are organized and involved in your own case, you can make a difference in your outcome and keep your legal costs down.

Be Honest and Forthcoming
Don’t let your attorney hear something about you or your case from the other party for the first time. You may be embarrassed or afraid to share some facts with your attorney, but your attorney needs to know anything that the other side is likely to tell their attorney. Otherwise, your attorney is at a disadvantage in trying to protect your interests.

Communicate Any Concerns
If you have any concerns about how your case is going, you need to communicate with your attorney and let them know how you are feeling. It is possible to have miscommunications in any relationship, so making sure you are on the same page with your attorney and that any issues are promptly addressed is key.

How Do I Prepare for My Deposition?

A deposition is a part of the case, where you are required to appear at a business location, usually the law office of your spouse’s attorney, to answer the questions your spouse’s attorney wants to ask you, under oath in front of a court reporter. The transcript (written record of the questions and answers given under oath) can be used by the other attorney to prepare for the trial or can be used at trial to challenge you on an answer if you try to say something different. Discuss with your attorney what it is important for you to establish at trial so that your answers are consistent with what you are trying to establish. You can use your deposition as a dress rehearsal to practice answering the questions of the other attorney in the manner you would like to answer them at trial. You are not there to do the other side any favors, so be careful only to answer the question asked and not to volunteer additional information. You should also take your time answering questions, so that your attorney may note an objection if need be. If the other lawyer asks you if you will provide them with documents are authorizations, questions which are more appropriately addressed to your attorney, you may answer that you would need to consult with your attorney. Lastly, tell only the truth and never guess at the answer, if you don’t know, simply say that you don’t know.

How Do I Prepare for Court?

  • Review your deposition transcript the night before court
  • Review with your attorney what topics your attorney plans to ask you about
  • Dress conservatively as you would if you were going to a business meeting or job interview
  • Be sincere and direct when answering questions; do not argue with the other attorney or become combative
  • If the Judge is speaking, you should be listening
  • Answer the question that is asked of you; don’t try to evade a question or provide information that answers a different question
  • Review the exhibits your attorney has prepared, since you will need to be able to answer questions about the exhibits, even if it was your attorney who prepared them for you.
  • Don’t talk to your attorney while they are listening to the other attorney question a witness- they can’t listen to both; instead, write down any notes you have for them which may help them question the witness.
  • Do not make facial expressions or otherwise react to testimony by a witness or the other party, even if you believe they are lying. Many judges will reprimand you for such gasps and gestures. Trust your attorney to effectively cross-examine them and call their credibility into question in the proper manner.